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History of roses

The question is often asked, 'Where do Roses come from', China is the immediate answer however this is not really true. All roses are decedents of wild roses, or species roses, and all of them are from the northern hemisphere.

The species all have distinct characteristics and with over 100 species identified we look at those that have had the most impact on modern roses.

Serious hybridisation begins

From the 'Old Garden Roses' things get interesting, this is when those remorant types arrived from China. It was also when a fairly organized approach to rose breeding began. We have started to find the repeat flowering types such as

  • Bourbon
    The first was a cross between a Damask and one of those new Chinese roses. It was very fragrant, repeat flowering, tall growing and good green foliage. Madame Pierre- Oger and Variegata di Bologna are two.

  • The Hybrid Perpetuals were next, just about everything was used in hybridization, so tracing the linage is very difficult. Again fragrance was the key factor.

  • Rosa Devoniensis
  • The Tea Roses
    Here it is straight forward, Rosa chinensis was crossed with Rosa gigantiea. Continual flowering roses, deep red colors were added to the pallet as well as pinks.

    These roses are best suited to warmer climates. So Duchesse de Brabant and Devoniensis (pictured) are two.